CIAJG, Guimarães

Technical description

16mm film scanned to digital, color, no sound, recorded in Pharoe Islands, 2015

silk curtain and copper strucutre

digital projection of the sun recorded at OASA telescopium, Azores

3 painted acrylics of the oracular shapes on a coffee cup given to the artist in Istambul

During the process of observation of what I would identify as a smooth event (displacing Deleuze and Guattari definition of smooth fields regarding unmeasurable and trembling territories[4], to the order of time) – by cause of being confronted with an unsettled situation, where the only possible action is to derive, moving in-between the precedent and the subsequent and amidst the idea and the manifest, inscribing, in the western conception of action, a new sense of torpor. This derivation, or torpor would be seen as a contradictory approach to the definition of awareness, however it is well applied when the awareness is related to a passage - as something that moves, constantly changing, requiring an embracement of the whole – the precise and the undefined - once there isn’t, by definition, a fixed or permanent stage.   

Taking this as an utterly approach, that goes from the perception of passage towards the sense of opportunity, I concluded that despite the fact I was challenging my knowledge and the processes of acquiring it throughout sleepiness and vague movements, I could produce a contingent artefact, in the way it results in accurate essence of a documentation. This artefact was not prepared, neither refined. It is in the absence of instructions, relying on the embodied affection and caring improvised decisions, verifying a particular awareness of a new experiment, as well as a sleepy and torpor sensation that, altogether, best reveal its efficacy.  

To apprehend through absences (e.g. absence of what becomes familiar by repetition – habit)  and other similar exercises allows for a placid abandonment of ideals. An ideal is formed in the basis of experience. Anything that disrupts experienced knowledge, will consequently bend the enclosure of an ideal.  Still, the means remain – materials we deem to recognize and stubbornly classify. This difficult process of approaching the unknowable by means of the unknown is referred in Abraham’s psychoanalysis as anasemic tools[5]. He introduces this concept to designate “the status of concepts which, tough deliberately disruptive of a unifying, conscious self, outline, the ultimate unconscious sense or source of disruption”[6].   I'd rather ascribe these means of perception the function of purview. During a visual approach, we metaphorically collide with an image, rebating its scale and distance and the successive variations thereof. That is, by observing effects through affection, the external view of the observer becomes somehow manifested in the body, haptic.   As the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti used to say, while discoursing about the state of enlightenment – in full awareness, the observer becomes the observed[7]. The opportunity also happens in that strain between the being position within-the-world. The mentioned torpor and active-inertia stand in this constant dispersion between the manifest and the image.  

Indeed, while wandering inside the hotel, I had the sensation of a dystopic scenario, where every furniture is composed in order to sustain an event that could initiate anytime – open rooms, dressed tables, lights on.

The artificial light set majorly contributed for this sensation, resembling dysfunctional during this day-night cycle interruption. The aesthetics of this artificial illumination inwards this hotel, mostly fluorescent blue and green neon, is usually more common in night entertainment venues, such as bars, probably for its dreamy effects, as these colours are more associated with fiction than the real – white and yellow light colours resemble more with natural sunlight than bright fluorescent green, which first appeared during technological revolution, due to Hewitt’s discovery by passing an electric current through mercury vapor and incorporating a ballast, which resulted in the blue-green light[8].

  Strangely, this hotel used the same type of lights in every sector, including in the business meeting room and corridors, amplifying this ambience of techno imagery. One could easily feel a decalage or incoherence between the natural and artificial lighting. 

  Shooting such scenario with analogue film also contributed for a trembling effect of the image, that is coherent with my conceptual aims – it functions with the afterimage and the apparent movement. What appears to be or what is about to come is not revealed. Indeed, there is an obvious stillness in every footage, which might suggest to the spectator the night time context in which these images were grabbed - the period of low human activity, the resting time – Quiet Sununfolds through different static images and slowly enunciates an undefined time, empty areas, empty chairs, dressed tables and presence lights, exalting the sensation of expectation, like a theatrical scenario without its actors, the aesthetical set for the opportunity that I am seeking for... The passage of that non-night, revealed total absence of any event, no major changes could be noticed for a period of 24 hours. What remained was the constant opportunity for its occurrence.

To film this absence of action, throughout empty spaces and obscured forms, was actually the only solution I found to grab some recognition of the passage of night. Thus, the film is a clear attempt to understand night by any other means than the habit of darkness. 

Although the decisions taken about the medium, the chosen camera device, have an important role either in its aesthetics and conceptual concerns – the most crucial remark of this artefact resides in the exploration of the embodied knowledge  and in its attempt to reactivate it, not only by documenting it, but by displaying it without editing, enabling to transmit the solipsism deriving from it. Even though I am aware of the partiality of such transmission, due to the fact that an embodied experience always depends of the individuality of its operator, its looping display, aesthetics in form and format (trembling appearance) preserve its disruptive effects.   The spectator has access to the rough footage and to every decision took during the film making. Nonetheless, it is a recording of my torpid awareness. The making of this film is also a struggle to avoid sleep, my inner habit of sleeping by night. I couldn’t avoid falling into a mood between rest and awareness, that is, I couldn’t accomplish any intention to gaze with precision, to become efficient from the western point of view. 

As seen, the preconception of night as the absence of sun, or at least the impossibility to observe it, caused by our position in relation to earth and its own rotation, is in tension along the film, while only slight changes in the intensity of daylight are perceived. It doesn’t attain the stage of the dark side – the obscure. Another way of experiencing the lack of obscurity, could be done by moving in the same speed at the earth rotation. Therefore, we could assert that it is in the displacement of the observer, that other opportunities become possible.  

Without the reposition of the observer, the disruption of preconceptions may not be achieved. That is to say, there is a movement too, a gesture or an action [9] [GS30] required, even if that utter process is done exclusively as a conceptual projection, it is indeed an activity.

Even though, it is my individual expectancy, based on my cultural heritage and living experience, marked by a central-south European tradition (raised in France, living in Portugal) that transforms the perception of this event into a non-event (as I dare to claim it, for contradicting my expectancies, my habit of events as self-revealing) , an on-going phenomenon, in which I couldn’t define its beginning or ending, I am aware it is a sensorial fallacy – therefore a combination of what is real and what is illusion.    

The conclusions I take out of the practicing that occurred while producing this artefact, led me to better understand the different levels that may consist awareness.  The awareness of the presence through absences and vice-versa – I was able to observe, as I intended, what stands in the non- manifesting. I disrupted my habit and forced myself to adaptation. Through this artefact I intend to propel the importance of adaptation as a process that happens without time constrains. It was also revealing to me the importance in aesthetics of using adaptation in forms – to employ a shape that attains a different form, demands from this process a flexible matter – sort of stretching, loosening up conformism. The flexibility or adaptability of an image boundaries resonates with camouflage effects as a form that bends to fit another or assumes the lines of something external to it. This flexibility or malleability [10] is simultaneously revealed in concept and in the materialization of Quiet Sun through the non-rigid strategy applied, as exemplified above, as well as film was self-adapting to light conditions and scenes and objects showed up in that twinkling and unprecise ambient. This also propelled my research into deeper reflections regarding the several forms of knowledge  and how it may be re-activated.

   I may settle by referring that this artefact underlies similar knowledge than the one acquired through the observation of a green ray – it is from the knowledge that remained from the green ray phenomenon qualities, like the continuous adaptation to an unknown environment, the eminency of an event as an open field for every possibility, the active-inertia implied in such observations, that allowed me to better transmit it throughout this practical work and therefore it is included in this research as one of the selected artefacts, that contributes to the whole of this research. 

[1] solstice. (n.d.) Farlex Trivia Dictionary. (2011).

Retrieved on November 6th, 2018 from: